Day 317 – Jeremiah 4-6; Psalm 108:1–20; Proverbs 24:1–6; Hebrews 9

Jeremiah 4-6

1 “If Israel returns to Me,” says the Lord, “he shall return. If he puts away abominations from his mouth, and fears My presence, 2 and swears that the Lord lives with truth, judgment, and righteousness, then the Gentiles shall bless in Him, and in Him they shall praise God in Jerusalem.” 3 For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and those dwelling in Jerusalem: “Plow for yourselves the untilled fields, and do not sow among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to God, all you men of Judah and those dwelling in Jerusalem, and circumcise the hardness of your heart, lest My anger come forth like fire and burn; and there shall be no one who quenches it, because of the presence of your evil practices.”
  Warning of Disaster
5 Declare in Judah and let it be heard in Jerusalem, and say, “Blow the trumpet in the land, and cry out loudly, saying, ‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.’ 6 Pick up and flee toward Zion. Hurry. Do not stop! For I bring disaster from the north and great destruction.” 7 The lion has come up from his den, and the destroyer of nations has arisen. He has come forth from his place to make the land desolate, and the cities will be laid waste, no longer livable. 8 For this, clothe yourself with sackcloth, lament and wail, saying, “The anger of the Lord has not turned back from us.”
9 “In that day it shall come to pass,” says the Lord, “that the heart of the king and the heart of the rulers shall perish. The priests shall be amazed and the prophets shall wonder.” 10 Then I said, “O Lord and Master, surely You deceived this people and Jerusalem when You said, ‘You shall have peace,’ but behold, the sword reaches to their soul.”
11 At that time, they will say to this people and to Jerusalem, “There is a spirit of wandering in the desert, for the way of the daughter of My people is not clean nor holy. 12 A spirit of completion will come to Me now, for I speak judgments against them. 13 Behold, he shall come up like a cloud, and his chariots like a whirlwind, for his horses are swifter than eagles. They will say, ‘Woe to us, for we are in ruin!’ ”
14 O Jerusalem, wash the vices from your heart that you may be saved. How long shall your painful thoughts be within you? 15 For the voice of one declaring from Dan will come, and anguish will be heard from Mount Ephraim: 16 “Remind the nations, for they have come. Announce to those in Jerusalem the gatherings of those from afar, for they uttered their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 They completely surrounded her, like those who guard a field, for you rejected Me,” says the Lord. 18 “Your ways and practices have brought these things upon you. This evil is your own, for it is bitter, because it took hold of your heart.”
Jeremiah’s Sorrow for Israel
19 I am pained to the depth of my belly and in the senses of my heart. My soul is in great commotion, and my heart is torn asunder. I will not be silent, for my soul hears the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 It calls for a ruinous crushing, for the whole land is in ruin. Suddenly the tabernacle is in ruin, and my coverings are torn apart. 21 How long will I see people fleeing and hear the sound of trumpets? 22 “For the leaders of My people do not know Me. They are foolish and unwise sons. They are wise to do evil, but do not know how to do good.”
23 I looked upon the earth, and behold, it was nothing, and into the sky, and there were no stars in it. 24 I saw the mountains, and they were trembling; and I saw all the hills, and they were shaking. 25 I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were alarmed. 26 I saw, and behold, Carmel was deserted, and all the cities were burnt with fire at the presence of the Lord, and because of His fierce anger they were destroyed.
27 Thus says the Lord: “The whole land shall be desolate, yet I will not destroy it completely. 28 Let the earth mourn for these things, and let the sky above grow dark, for I have spoken and will not repent. I have sworn and will not turn back from it. 29 From the sound of the horse and the bow strung with an arrow, the whole land retreated. They crawled into caves, hid in the groves, and climbed up on the rocks. Every city is forsaken, and not a man dwells in them. 30 As for you, what will you do, though you clothe yourself with crimson and adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, though you daub your eyes with myrrh? Your adornment is in vain. Your lovers rejected you, and they seek your life. 31 For I heard your voice groaning, like the sound of a woman giving birth, like the voice of the daughter of Zion whose anguish is like that of one who gives birth the first time, who grows weary and whose hands lose their strength; and she says, ‘Woe is me, for my soul faints because of those killed!’
God’s Judgment Is Just
1 “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and you will see and know; and seek in her streets if you can find a man, if there is anyone who does judgment and seeks faithfulness; and I shall be merciful to them,” says the Lord. 2 “Though they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’ therefore, do they not make an oath with lies?” 3 O Lord, Your eyes are on faithfulness. You chastised them, but they have not grieved. You consumed them, but they were unwilling to receive correction. They set their faces harder than a rock and did not will to return.
  4 Therefore I said, “Perhaps they are poor, because they are weak and do not know the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of God. 5 I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they do not know the way of the Lord and the judgment of God.” But behold, they altogether crushed the yoke and broke the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion from the thicket struck them, and a wolf destroyed them, even to their houses; and a leopard kept watch against their cities. Everyone who goes out from them shall be hunted, because they multiplied their ungodliness and grew strong in their turning away.
7 “In what way shall I be merciful to you? Your sons forsook Me and swore by those who are not gods. I pastured them, but they committed adultery and lodged in the houses of prostitutes. 8 They were lusty horses. Each one neighed after his neighbor’s wife. 9 Shall I not visit them for these things?” says the Lord. “Shall not My soul take vengeance on such a nation as this?
10 “Go upon her outer fortifications and tear them down, but do not ruin them completely. Leave the support foundations, for they belong to the Lord. 11 The house of Israel and the house of Judah dealt very treacherously with Me,” says the Lord. 12 They lied to their own Lord, and said, “These things are not so. Evil will not come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine. 13 Our prophets were as wind, and the word of the Lord did not exist in them.”
14 Therefore, thus says the Lord Almighty: “Because you prophets spoke this word, behold, I will cause My words to be fire in your mouth, and this people to be wood, and the fire shall devour them. 15 Behold, O house of Israel,” says the Lord, “I will bring a nation against you from afar. It is a nation whose spoken language you shall not understand. 16 They are all mighty men. 17 They shall eat up your harvest and your bread, and they shall devour your sons and daughters, along with your sheep and cattle, and your vines, fig trees, and olive groves. With a sword they shall destroy your fortified cities in which you trust.
18 “Nevertheless, it shall come to pass in those days,” says the Lord your God, “that I will not make a complete end of you. 19 It will be that when you say, ‘Why did the Lord our God do all these things to us?’ then you shall answer them, ‘Because you served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land not yours.’
20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob, and let it be heard in Judah. 21 Hear these things now, O people, foolish and heartless. They have eyes that see not, they have ears that hear not. 22 Do you not fear Me?” asks the Lord. “Have you no fear before My presence, I who placed the sand as the bound of the sea, a perpetual decree, so it shall not pass beyond? Though it be in a constant uproar, yet it shall not prevail; and though its waves toss, yet they shall not pass over it. 23 But this people has an inattentive and disobedient heart. They turned aside and departed. 24 They did not say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear the Lord our God, who gives us both the early and the late rain, according to the fullness of the season, and preserves the harvest He ordained for us.’ 25 Your lawlessness turned these things away, and your sins withdrew the good things from you. 26 For the ungodly were found among My people. They set traps to destroy men, and they caught them. 27 As a trap set for birds is full, so their houses are full of deceit; therefore, they became great and grew rich. 28 They transgressed judgment and do not plead the cause of the orphan, nor the cause of the widow. 29 Shall I not visit them for these things?” says the Lord. “Shall not My soul take vengeance on such a nation as this?
30 “Bewilderment and horrible things have come upon the land. 31 The prophets prophesy unrighteous things, and the priests applaud with their hands. My people also love to have it so. But what will you do after these things?”
Destruction Is Coming from the North
1 Be strong, O sons of Benjamin, in the midst of Jerusalem. Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and for the sake of Beth Haccerem, set up a signal; because evil looms from the north, and great destruction is coming. 2 Your crown will be taken away, O daughter of Zion. 3 Shepherds and their flocks will come to her, and they shall pitch their tents against her all around; and they shall feed their flocks, each with his hand. 4 Get ready to war against her, to rise up against her in battle at noon. Woe to us! Because the day draws to a close, and the shadows of evening come to an end. 5 Arise and go up in the night, and utterly destroy her foundations.
  6 For thus says the Lord: “Cut down her trees; pour out your power against Jerusalem, O false city. There is oppression in her entirely. 7 As a reservoir chills down water, so evil causes her to grow cold. Ungodliness and misery will be heard in her presence continually. 8 Be instructed, O Jerusalem, by pain and affliction, lest My soul depart from you; lest I make you a land not to be trodden, where no one shall dwell.” 9 For thus says the Lord: “Glean, glean as a vine the remnant of Israel; return them as one who gathers for his basket.”
10 To whom shall I speak and testify? Will it be heard? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and they cannot hear. Behold, the word of the Lord was an insult to them, and they do not wish to hear it. 11 “I was filled with my anger, but held fast and did not end their lives. I will pour it out against the children from the outside, against the youth of the assembly; and the husband and wife will be taken together, the elder full of days. 12 Their houses shall be turned over to others, together with their wives and fields. For I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of this land,” says the Lord. 13 “Because from the least of them even to the greatest, everyone accomplished lawlessness. From the priest even to the false prophet, everyone acted falsely. 14 With contempt they healed the calamity of My people incompletely, saying, ‘Peace, peace.’ But where is peace? 15 They were ashamed because they failed; but they were not ashamed as those truly ashamed, for they did not recognize their dishonor. Therefore, they shall utterly fall when they do fall, and at the time of their visitation they shall perish,” says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask about the eternal pathways of the Lord. See what the good way is and walk in it. Here you will find purification for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 I set watchmen over you. Listen to the sound of their trumpet. But they said, ‘We will not listen.’ 18 Therefore the Gentiles heard, and those who shepherd their flocks. 19 Hear, O earth. Behold, I will bring evils upon this people, the fruit of their turning away, because they did not heed My words, but rejected My law. 20 Why do you bring frankincense to Me from Sheba and cinnamon from a far country? Your whole burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not sweet to Me.” 21 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will bring weakness upon this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall be weak. The neighbor and his friend shall perish.”
22 Thus says the Lord: “Behold, a people will come from the north, and a nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth. 23 They will take hold of bow and spear; and they are reckless and will show no mercy. Their voice is like the roaring sea, and they are deployed on horses and chariots. They shall draw up in battle order as a fire for war against you, O daughter of Zion.”
24 You will say, “We heard the report of them, and our hands became feeble. Distress takes hold of us as pains of a woman in labor.” 25 Do not go out into the field nor walk along the ways, for the swords of enemies linger on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, dress yourself in sackcloth and sprinkle yourself with ashes. Make for yourself a bitter lamentation as if for a beloved son, because suddenly misery will come upon you.
27 “I gave you an assayer to prove you among the peoples, and you shall know Me when I test their way. 28 They all are inattentive and walk perversely. They are bronze and iron, and all have corrupted themselves. 29 The blowpipe and the lead failed because the fire gave out. The silversmith coins money in vain, and their evils have not melted away. 30 Call them rejected silver, because the Lord rejected them.”

Psalm 108:1–20

1 For the End; a psalm by David.
O God, do not pass over my praise in silence,
2 For the mouth of the sinner and the mouth of the deceitful man opened against me;
They spoke against me with a deceitful tongue;
3 And they surrounded me with words of hatred,
And warred against me without cause.
4 Instead of loving me, they falsely accused me,
But I continued to pray;
5 So they repaid me evil for good,
And hatred for my love.
6 Set a sinner over him,
And let the devil stand at his right hand.
7 And when he is judged, may he go forth condemned,
And let his prayer become sin.
8 Let his days be very few,
And may a different man receive his office;
9 Let his children be fatherless
And his wife a widow;
10 Let his children wander about and be beggars;
Let them be cast out of their houses.
11 Let the creditor search out whatever possessions he has;
Let strangers plunder his labors;
12 Let there be no helper for him,
Nor a compassionate one for his fatherless children;
13 Let his children be utterly destroyed;
In a single generation, let his name be blotted out.
14 May the lawlessness of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
And may the sin of his mother not be blotted out;
15 Let them be continually before the Lord,
And may the remembrance of them be utterly destroyed from the earth,
16 Because he did not remember to show mercy,
But persecuted a poor and needy man,
And one pierced to the heart, that he might kill him.
17 And he loved cursing, and it came to him,
And he did not desire blessing, so it shall be far from him.
18 So he clothed himself with cursing like a garment,
And it entered like water into his bowels
And like oil into his bones;
19 Let it be for him like a garment that clothes him,
And like a belt that girds him continually.
20 This is the work of those who falsely accuse me before the Lord,
And of those who speak evil things against my soul.

Proverbs 24:1–6

1 My son, do not envy evil men,
Neither desire to be with them;
2 For their heart ponders a lie,
And their lips speak of sufferings.
3 A house is built with wisdom,
And it is built up with understanding.
4 Storehouses are filled with perception
From all honorable and good riches.
5 It is better to be a wise man of strength
And a man having discernment, than to be a man who has a large estate.
6 War comes with the skill of a commander,
But help comes with the heart of a counselor.

Hebrews 9

1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.
2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary;
3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All,
4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;
5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Limitations of the Earthly Service
6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.
7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;
8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—
10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
The Heavenly Sanctuary
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
  The Mediator’s Death Necessary
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.
18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.
19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.
22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—
26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

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